Former President Bill Clinton's lack of close friends and his wife's insensitivity to the pressures he felt in the White House played a role in his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky, according to a new and sensational cache of notes from a close friend of Hillary Clinton.

The notes from the late Diane Blair, published by the Free Beacon, revealed that the former first lady offered up multiple excuses for the affair that led in part to the president's impeachment, the most unexpected one being that he didn't have friends he could trust and vent to.

In the notes held by the University of Arkansas Special Collections library in Fayetteville, Blair, who died in 2000, said that she reached Hillary Clinton by phone while the first family was vacationing in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., following the president's admission about the affair in the summer of 1998.

She wrote that Clinton was standing by her husband and felt the affair was being taken out of context. That context: Clinton needed an outlet for the pressure he faced in the White House, including the pain he felt by the suicide of friend and legal advisor Vince Foster and the death of his mom and his wife’s dad.

“Ever since he took office they’ve been going through personal tragedy (Vince, her dad, his mom) and immediately all the ugly forces started making up hateful things about them, pounding on them,” wrote Blair. “She didn’t realize the toll it was taking on him,” Blair added of her friend Hillary.

“She has a staff she can vent with, can call [prosecutor Kenneth] Starr an sob, etc.; she has friends like me she totally and completely trusts. He does not. Anything he says gets leaked to the world. She thinks she was not smart enough, not sensitive enough, not free enough of her own concerns and struggles to realize the price he was paying,” Blair wrote.

Starr detailed several sexual encounters between Lewinsky and Clinton.

Many have wondered why Hillary Clinton stood by her husband, and the notes from her friend suggest that the first lady was not a quitter and believed that the affair wasn’t all her husband’s fault.

For example, she called Lewinsky a “narcissistic loony toon” who couldn’t leave her husband alone.

She said the sex was consensual and meaningless. “It was gross inappropriate behavior, but it was consensual (was not a power relationship) and was not sex within any real meaning (standup, liedown, oral, etc.) of the term,” Blair wrote, quoting “HRC.” Starr’s report detailed the couple’s oral sex.

Another explanation was that Clinton was torn between two strong women. Blair wrote, “They got a letter from a psychologist who does family therapy and sexual infidelity problems: most men with fidelity problems raised by two women and felt conflicted between them; held red about Bill’s bio; grandmother despised [his mother] Virginia, tried to get custody of Bill; Bill adored by his mother, but she left him, etc.”

The notes do provide perspective on why Hillary Clinton did not leave her husband over the affair.

“She’s in it for the long haul,” wrote Blair. “Partly because she’s stubborn; partly her upbringing’ partly her pride — but, mostly because she knows who she is and what her values and priorities are and she’s straight with those — she really is okay.”

Blair added: “He has been her best friend for 25 years, her husband for 23 years, they’re connected in every way imaginable, she feel strongly about him and family and Chelsea and marriage and she’s just got to try to work it through.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at